I thought I’d hate Four Square

I clearly remember when I heard about Four Square (FS). My reaction was ‘meh’

I figured I’d wait it out until the fad wore off. That is until I went to WWDC. I imagine it was much the same at SXSW, the right mix of people to initiate a chain reaction. We were out at one of the too many competing parties, every one had it. I figured I’d join in.

Screen shot 2009-07-21 at 4.07.32 PMI racked up some serious points and badges thanks to the nightlife of WWDC, and as you can see, I’m still mayor of the Intercontinental… guess they don’t get many developer/social media types.

Then I came home, where I work out of my home office… my Four Square awesomeness quickly declined except at my gym and my house (Yeah cheating, but screw you, cubie, going to lunch every day, blah blah) where I reign supreme.

What really keeps me interested in Four Square, and even brightkite is the awesome outside the phone potential. I want my starbucks to give the mayor a free coffee (Frapaccino please). I want my neighborhood bar (where Dave and I are in a cold war for mayorship) half off drinks, or a free drink, something.In the brighkite world, I want to check in and see that where I am is running a Brightkite special, or maybe not where I am, but the place next door.

Where FS excels is that it identifies the losers (cough) people who frequent a place. Rewards them for doing so with points and meaningless badges, that can’t even be printed out! What if they got a burger instead!

This techcrunch article is exactly what I’m talking about. Ideally Brightkite will get there first, sorry FS, I gotta go with the home team. I definitely think whoever can start cementing these relationships first, will be hard to unseat, and FS already has a model. There’s no need to discount to all users, though that’s awesome, just give the mayor something great! Everyone will see, and want to be mayor, and guess how you do that? Be the one to visit a place the most. Win Win.

By John Wilker

I'm a science fiction writer and conference organizer. In 2017 I published my first book, 'Space Rogues', a fun Sci-Fi adventure with a fun cast of characters. I'm also the co-founder of 360|Conferences, a conference and event logistics consulting company.

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